Managing sickness absence

September 1, 2016

Sickeness2It’s inevitable that sooner or later your nanny will phone in sick. It can be frustrating if you’re off to an important meeting or away from home for work, and you may end up feeling let down, but it’s important that your nanny is fit and well if he or she is to do the job properly. And with any luck your nanny will soon return to work.

Managing sickness absence is the question most asked on ACAS’s helpline and it’s an issue that needs to be handled sensitively, especially when it comes to long-term illness.

If your nanny qualifies and is sick for longer than four days then he or she pay get Statutory Sick Pay.

If your nanny is off work for more than seven days in a row he or she will need to get a sick note from the GP.

Your nanny will continue to build up holiday while off sick Any statutory holiday entitlement that isn’t used because of illness can be carried over into the next leave year. If your nanny is ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead.

If your nanny is off sick for more than four weeks they are considered long-term sick. While this is distressing for your nanny it can pose many problems for you and you can’t be expected to continue to employ your nanny indefinitely if he or she is unable to perform their side of their contract because of ill health.

However, you can’t sack your nanny due to repeated absence due to ill health. You need to set up regular return-to-work meetings to discuss the cause of the absence, the likelihood of future absences and if there’s anything you could do the reduce absence, as well as working out a plan for returning to work.

If it’s unlikely that your nanny will be able to return to work, it’s sensible to take legal advice before dismissal otherwise you can land yourself in deep water.

ACAS has lots of helpful information and guidance on what to do if staff are off sick.